Murder victims Carissa Horton, 18, and Ethan Nichols, 21 are seen here during an event at Rhema Bible Church in Broken Arrow.
They were young and in love, and went for a walk in the park at 9:30 p.m., on Sunday, September 18.
And that was the last time anyone besides their killers saw them alive.
Carissa Horton and Ethan Nichols had never known each other in Keokuk, Iowa, where they’d both grown up, but their parents knew each other, and put their kids in touch with each other. Ethan’s family had already moved out to Tulsa when work dried up in Iowa. Carissa then went to Tulsa to attend Oral Roberts University.
Both kids came from devoutly Christian families.
They started Facebook messaging each other, then texting each other, talking on the phone about sermons they’d watched on podcast, and next thing you knew, they were praying together every night over the phone. They attended church functions together.
But apparently no one ever warned them about walking in East Tulsa’s Hicks Park after dark.
Ethan had attended community college, and aspired to be a graphic designer, but was working in a creamery. Carissa was studying music, but had to frequently go jogging, for her Phys Ed requirement. (Some reports said they had gone jogging in the park.)
Racist confessed murderers, Darren Price (L), and Jerard Davis (R).Enter Darren Price, 19, and Jerard Davis, 21. The two black men had initially decided to rob the couple, but during the robbery figured that they might as well kill them while they were at it. So Price and Davis had Horton and Nichols kneel on the ground—and blew their brains out, execution-style.
Two hours later, the killers decided to go back to steal Horton’s Pontiac Grand Am.
The victims’ corpses were not found until 11 a.m. the next day.
The killers used the victims’ cell phones to text the latter’s families (to brag of their crimes?) until noon the next day, i.e., after their victims’ bodies had been found.
The next day, Price—a convicted car thief who was given an easy time by the courts, but who still screwed up by skipping out on his court date—hung around the crime scene, while investigators combed the park for evidence, and reporters covered the unfolding story. About four hours before he would be arrested, he got himself interviewed by reporter Latoya Silmon, from ABC affiliate, KTUL-TV. The good-looking, clean, articulate young man feigned shock, and told of how he “stayed” nearby, and sometimes came to the park with his kids, but was worried about safety.
"I think it’s real crazy. I bring my kids out here to play. Got to raise the question, is it safe to even walk around this town with people just dying and stuff? It’s not cool."Not “people just killin,’ and stuff like this?”
Price must have gotten a huge kick out of seeing himself on TV, at the scene of his crime. ABC News blogger Christina Ng praised him as “gutsy” and “bold.” Fortunately, Ng was not typical of local journalists. Black KTUL-TV (ABC) reporter Latoya Silmon was shocked by Price’s brazenness, as was white Fox23 reporter Abbie Alford, who preferred to dwell on the religious faith of the victims and their families, and on the basic moral decency expressed by Tulsa Police Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker.
The interview with Darren Price begins at 6:09.[Click to go directly to that point.]
As Sgt. Walker later recalled to Tulsa World reporter Jerry Wofford, initially the police were up against it.
Sgt. Walker: "Not very often do we see no relation between the victim and the suspects."After a brief chase, Price was caught in Nichols’ car later that day with a different comrade, who was not implicated in the crime. Apparently either Price or his friend gave up Davis, whom police caught a short time later, also after a brief chase.
"Our first thought was, 'This is going to be a long, drawn-out investigation.' There was absolutely nothing there. No ID, no weapon."
But after they learned about the stolen vehicle, located at an apartment complex, it was a matter of waiting, he said.
"The car was probably the key," Walker said.
Officers watching the vehicle saw Price get into it, according to police. He was pulled over after a short chase and questioned by detectives before being jailed on murder and robbery complaints, records show.
[2 men charged in double killing at park by Jerry Wofford, Tulsa World, October 4, 2011.]
Once nabbed, the killers quickly confessed, without even feigning remorse. Each defendant claimed to police that his crime partner was the shooter.
"Davis' arrest report shows police executed a search warrant and found a 9mm gun inside Davis' apartment. That gun match [sic] the 9mm shell casings found at the scene."[Suspects arrested in double murder by Abbie Alford, Fox23, September 20, 2011[Ethan Nichols’ mother immediately told reporters that she’d forgiven her daughter’s killers, because she was obliged, as a Christian, to do so. To hate and seek vengeance, “is Satan,” in her theological view (Then count me on the side of Satan.). But Ethan’s father is not ready to forgive.
At the time of the arrests, Tulsa Police Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker told Fox23 reporter, Abbie Alford,
"They are right where they need to be in this society. We need to warehouse them and that's where they need to be for the rest of their life. If there is any case for a death penalty case, this would be one of them."On October 3, Darren Price and Jerard Davis were formally charged in Tulsa County District Court with two counts each of first-degree murder. “Price faces additional counts of possession of a firearm after a former felony and a felony count of eluding police.”
Suspects arrested in double murder by Abbie Alford, Fox23, September 20, 2011.
The presiding judge, Special Judge Dawn Moody, entered not guilty pleas on behalf of both defendants.
At that time, a preliminary hearing was scheduled for December 1, after which the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office will weigh whether to seek the death penalty.[Preliminary hearing is set for pair in killings,by Bill Braun, Tulsa World, October 5, 2011.]
The police have called the murders “senseless.” And everyone has ignored the racial angle (no talk of “hate crimes”), which amounts to the same thing. Of course, if you consider black racial animosity, the violence starts to make sense, in its own evil way. But that is forbidden, so we must live chained in the cave of “senseless violence.”
The killers’ court-appointed, taxpayer-funded lawyers will surely get them to recant their confessions, perhaps claiming coercion. Look forward to millions of your tax dollars going for their defense, appeals, and 60-odd years of three hots and a cot, weight-lifting, cable TV, raping white inmates, etc.
Cold comfort, that.
One hundred million or more Americans can recall a time when taking a walk in a city park just about anywhere at 9:30 on a Sunday night was for couples a perfect cheap date, with no intimations of mortal danger.
Has America become so marvelously diverse that it no longer has room left for gentle young lovers?